I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure


weekly photo challenge: humanity

“For this week’s challenge, share what humanity means to you. Share a single photo or a collage to represent a sea of humanity.”

This is just a small sea of humanity, in the Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), Venice.  It reminds me a little of the ‘Where’s Wally?’ pictures where there’s a lot going on, or a Lowry painting.

Look closely and you will see people feeding the pigeons (and there are LOTS of pigeons!), artists, street vendors with brightly coloured umbrellas, people taking photos of each other, people sitting having coffee, families, couples, babies in pushchairs, a band getting ready for a performance, a tour group, a child running…  Enlarge the picture and see what you can see.

Piazza San Marco humanity

This post is for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.


six word saturday – catching up with things


My mum, the last of my summer visitors, has gone home now and I have no further excuses for not knuckling down and getting on with all the chores etc that have been waiting for me.   In the few days since she has gone I have got the laundry is almost up to date (just a little ironing left), the garden has had some attention, things have been properly tidied away (things that were just shoved out of sight whilst we had our guests!) and lots of other little things have been done that I can’t think of now.  I’m also trying to catch up with reading blogs which is great – I was beginning to fall quite far behind – and trying to put together some new blog posts of my own.

The sun is shining, so perhaps a bit more work in the garden is in order today.

This cartoon made me smile:

savage chicken pirates

Have a good weekend, whatever you are up to!

This post is for Six Word Saturday.  Click over to  Show My Face for more sets of six words.


Chocolate Overload Cake (or, Bunfight at the Malteser Corral)

Here, as requested,  is the recipe and explanation for the birthday cake I made.  I didn’t follow any particular instructions, but sort of made it up as I went along, based on several other cakes I had seen.  I had a very capable assistant helping me (my sister and family were staying with us at the time), which made it easier to assemble.

I used to be indecisive’s Chocolate Overload Cake


birthday cake


I made two traybake sponges because I needed to make a cake large enough for about 25 people, but I have given the ingredients and method for just one traybake here.  The mixture could also be split between two cake tins to make two ‘normal’ sized sponges.  I also doubled up on the buttercream so that I had enough to go all round the cake.

My cake was a coffee sponge, with coffee buttercream, but you could make a plain sponge, or a chocolate one, or a marbled one, or a lemon one …

To make the cake you will need:

Coffee sponge (recipe below)

Coffee buttercream icing (recipe below)

Two-finger KitKats (I used 30)

Maltesers (I used 3 – 4 large bags)

M&Ms (I used 2 – 3 large bags)


All in one Coffee Sponge Traybake with coffee buttercream (based on a Mary Berry recipe)


For the cake:

6oz (175g) soft margarine (or unsalted butter)

6oz (175g) caster sugar

8oz (225g) self-raising flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

3 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee powder

For the coffee buttercream:

3oz (75g) margarine (or unsalted butter)

8oz (225g) icing sugar

2 teaspoons coffee essence (made by dissolving 2 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee into two teaspoons of boiling water)

You will also need:

One roasting tin about 12 x 9 inches (30 x 23 cm) greased and lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.


Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C)/Gas Mark 4.

In a small bowl beat the eggs lightly and dissolve the instant coffee powder into them. Into a large bowl measure the margarine (or butter), sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Add the beaten egg and coffee mixture. Beat everything together for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared roasting tin and level the top.

Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the coffee buttercream beat the margarine (or butter), icing sugar and coffee essence together in a bowl until smooth. You can add a little more coffee essence if you like a stronger flavour (which I do!)


Making and assembling the cake

When the traybakes are cooled, take them out of the tin and create the secret ‘well’ in the middle of the cake by cutting a long rectangle out of the centre of each cake, making sure that they line up exactly.  (If you are making a circular cake, then the central well should be circular.)cake illustrationCut off and put aside a thin slice (about half an inch) from the top of one of the removed sections to use as a lid on top of the M&Ms.

Place one sponge on the cake board (or whatever you are going to present the cake on) then carefully spread buttercream over the whole cake.  Place the second sponge on the top, lining up the edges and central ‘well’.  Fill the ‘well’ with M&Ms then place the thin slice of sponge over the top to hide the M&Ms, and make the top of the cake level.  Spread buttercream all over the top of the cake.  You might need to tidy up the edges of the sponge at this point to make them perpendicular to the cake board.  When this is done, spread the remaining buttercream all round the sides of the cake.  Unwrap the KitKats and place them carefully round the edges.  Pour the Maltesers into the reservoir that has been created between the surface of the cake and the tops of the KitKat palisades.  Tie a ribbon round it to make sure the KitKats stay in place.

not much cake left

Don’t forget to post a photo of your cake when you have made it!








Wordless Wednesday – birthday cake

birthday cake

m and m surprise


(I know the idea of a wordless post is that the pictures speak for themselves, but I just wanted to explain that this is the cake I made in August to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.  It was definitely not the sort of cake to eat if you were watching your weight!)


six word saturday – a few days



Our last of many summer visitors will be leaving soon and no more trips are planned, so it’s all back to normal by the end of next week.

I hope everyone has a good Saturday!


This post is for Six Word Saturday.  Click over to  Show My Face for more sets of six words.


Friday letters – the final August edition

Dear August, I can’t believe we have arrived already at the last of your 5 Fridays.  Thanks for providing the extra weekend this year, it has been excellent.

Dear foxes,  Is it not time for you to have a rest from your night-time antics?  Or at least indulge in them silently?

Dear computer,  Why, when I am in a hurry, do you take ages to load everything when I switch you on, and why are the pages I want to view online ‘Not Responding’, resulting in me having to restart you?  Please take this letter as a stern warning that you need to do better.

Dear autumn,  Surely you are not on your way already, but judging by the leaves that are falling in my garden, it seems as though you might be.

Dear Fellow Bloggers, I am going to have more time soon to catch up with all the posts I have been missing – I hope.  I am managing to read a few posts, but not commenting as much as I would like.  Once the madness of the summer break is over (birthdays, lots of visitors etc), things should return to a more even keel.

Dear supermarkets,  It is not even the end of August and a few days ago I spotted Christmas merchandise on display prominently.  It is FAR TOO EARLY!  I’ve said this for the last few years, but I am sure this year must be the earliest I have seen it.

Christmas merchandise in August

Christmas merchandise in August.

Hope everyone has a good Friday whatever you might be doing.



six word saturday – Cornish views again


We have returned to Cornwall for another week, and I am enjoying the fabulous views again.

Fowey estuary

Happy Saturday!

This post is for Six Word Saturday.  Click over to  Show My Face for more sets of six words.


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